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Bryce Huffman

West Michigan Reporter

Bryce Huffman is Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter. Huffman has been serving as a reporter for Michigan Radio since Fall 2016. He has covered a variety of Michigan stories, including immigrants facing deportation, the Detroit-area doctor involved in the female genital mutilation case, and residents concerned about a massive sinkhole in Macomb County. A Detroit native, Huffman graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Journalism. He joined Michigan Radio as a newsroom intern in May 2016.

Shri Thanedar holding his grandson before making the announcement that he is running for Governor.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Indian-born small businessman Shri Thanedar announced he is joining the race for governor of Michigan today in Detroit.

Thanedar is seeking the Democratic nomination. He's never held public office, but says he and his family will serve the state that helped him achieve success.

“We have done well for our family, but it is time now to try and help others in my state achieve their American dream. Within months, I sold my business, gave my staff a $1.5 million bonus, and decided to devote the rest of my life to public service,” Thanedar said.

Skyline of Detroit from the city's west side.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s immigrant population is growing, and a recent study says that's good for the economy.

The New Americans in Detroit report was released today. It found that between 2010 and 2014, more than 4,100 foreign-born individuals moved to the city of Detroit.

The report also says in 2014, immigrants contributed more than $53 million in state and local taxes. Immigrants in Detroit also contributed more than $67 million to Social Security, and $17 million to Medicare.

Security camera
MorgueFile

A proposed city ordinance looks to increase safety for Detroit businesses that serve customers after 10 p.m.

City Councilman Andre Spivey wants to require those businesses to join Project Green Light. That is an initiative that allows police officers to monitor video camera feeds in real time.

Project Green Light is currently just a voluntary program.

“It won’t end all crime, but just a tool that [Detroit Police Department] could use to help fight crime and to apprehend individuals who may perform a crime,” he said.

Gavel
Flickr/Joe Gratz / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A former Detroit-area lawyer pleaded guilty in front of a federal judge today for his involvement in a Macomb County corruption case.

Angelo Selva of Macomb Township pleaded guilty to obtaining and concealing bribes for former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds. Selva was once a Detroit-area lawyer, but says he hasn’t practiced law since 2004.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta walking through the Milton Manufacturing plant in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Creating jobs in Michigan means filling positions that are currently vacant.

That’s according to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, who met with employees at the Milton Manufacturing plant in Detroit and the Ford Truck Plant in Dearborn to speak about apprenticeships and skilled trades training.

He says education is an important part of filling skilled trade job vacancies.

“We need to educate folks to fill the jobs that are empty. It’s call demand-driven education, and we really need to work on that as a country,”

Money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit could soon be independent of financial oversight.

According to its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Detroit ended the 2016 fiscal year with its second consecutive balanced budget, and a $62.9 million surplus.

John Hill, the city’s chief financial officer, says that if the city can end the 2017 fiscal year with another balanced budget, it will be more in control of its financial future.

Rainbow flag, often associated with the LGBT movement
User Marlith / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The largest national survey on transgender people in America shows a need for policy change in Michigan. That’s what a few transgender rights groups say.

Nearly 900 people in Michigan responded to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey and 22% said they faced mistreatment in the workplace due to their gender identity or expression, while 17% said they had been fired before due to being transgender. 

Over a third of the respondents have been homeless at some point in their life, while only 14% of the country's population was homeless at the time of the survey. 

People getting on the MoGo bikes before a community ride out in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people took part in a community “ride out” celebrating the launch of a new bike-sharing program in Detroit today.

MoGo Detroit Bike Share has 430 bikes in 43 locations in 10 neighborhoods throughout the city. Most of the stations are near downtown and midtown. 

Construction near the site of the sinkhole on the Fraser-Clinton Township border in Macomb County.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Macomb County will have to spend an extra $5 to $10 million to fix a major sinkhole on 15 Mile Road in Fraser. County officials say a lawsuit is to blame.

Sterling Heights is suing the county to avoid paying an estimated $22 million to help repair the sinkhole, claiming it was the county’s fault it occurred. It is one of ten cities in the sinkhole’s drainage district.

Protestors outside of the federal courthouse in Detroit in suport of Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo and his family.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge in Detroit did not give a ruling on the pending removal of Sanchez-Ronquillo today. By law, that means he cannot yet be deported.

Hundreds of people protested outside the federal courthouse today, hoping to keep Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo from being deported.

Two busloads of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School students came to Detroit to support Sanchez-Ronquillo, his wife and two sons.

Krystie Linton is a teacher at Pioneer, where one of Jose’s sons is currently a student.

She says the students have been taught to fight for the common good.

The Lee Plaza aprtment building in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit officials want to convert nearly 400 vacant public housing units to either low-income housing or development opportunities.

 

The $1.7 million deal would sell properties that are currently owned by the Detroit Housing Commission to the Detroit Building Authority and Detroit Land Bank Authority.

 

This deal includes the Lee Plaza and Woodland Apartments and over 125 single-family homes.

 

Arthur Jemison, director of the city’s Housing and Revitalization Department, says many of these properties are a drain on their neighborhoods.

 

Q-Line streetcar on Woodward Avenue in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s first street car in over 60 years is officially open to the public.

The QLINE will run for 3.3 miles, or 6.6 miles both ways, along Woodward Avenue connecting Detroit’s downtown and midtown.

Matt Cullen, the CEO of M-1 Rail, which owns and operates the QLINE, knows that several Detroiters don’t think the QLINE goes far enough to help residents outside of the downtown area.

“We agree with that and we understand that perspective but we remain confident that this can be the first step in a broad regional transit system,” Cullen said.

Judge's gavel
Flickr user Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A Michigan doctor at the center of a female genital mutilation case could lose parental rights of her children.

Doctor Jumana Nagarwala and two other defendants allegedly took part in female genital cutting procedures on two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota earlier this year and some young girls from Michigan between 2005 and the present.

Construction near the site of the sinkhole on the Fraser-Clinton Township border in Macomb County
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Macomb County wants to prevent another sinkhole from opening along 15 Mile Road in Fraser. That’s why it will spend more than $6 million to reline the interceptor drain underneath it.

The Macomb Interceptor Drainage District Board voted to make improvements to the drain while the sewer bypass is still being used for the construction project to fix the sinkhole that was discovered last Christmas Eve.

Surgery tools
Stanford EdTech / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two people charged with female genital mutilation were denied bail by a federal judge in Detroit today.

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida Attar both face up to 20 years in prison for allegedly conspiring with Dr. Jumana Nagarwala to commit female genital cutting on minors.

A sign protesting the House bill that seeks to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Protestors gathered outside U.S. Rep. David Trott's (R-11th district) office in southeast Michigan today.

The group has a simple demand: that Trott  vote against a Republican bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Although Trott was not at his office during the protest, a spokesman allowed protestors to air their grievances, two at a time.  

The American Healthcare Act has a provision that lowers protections for people with preexisting conditions.

Detroit police chief James Craig giving an update about the condition of an officer who was shot last night
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A Detroit police officer remains in critical condition after being shot in the forehead last night. 

The officer was responding to a domestic violence call on the city's west side when the suspect began opening fire. The suspect is believed to be unrelated to that call. 

The officer's name was not given, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig gave remarks today at the hospital where the officer is being treated.

"It’s just a sobering reminder of the danger our officers face each and every day," Craig said. 

Mayor Mike Duggan announcing plans for Midtown west development project at Delta Prep Academy in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A new development project is coming to Detroit's Cass Corridor.

Midtown West will be a $77 million development project that will be located at what was once the Wigle Recreation Center near Midtown.

It will include a total of 335 residential units, 175 rental units and 160 units for sale. About 20% of those rental units will be affordable housing.

Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez represents the district where the project will be.

She says it’s important that development be done with and for the people.

A courtroom
Bill Ledbetter / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two Detroit-area doctors and a third person were indicted by a grand jury today.

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida Attar are being charged with aiding and abetting in Doctor Jumana Nagarwala’s alleged female genital cutting on two seven-year-old girls from Minnesota.

Female genital mutilation – or FGM – on minors is illegal in the U.S. unless there is a medical need for the procedure.

Mary Chartier, Doctor Attar’s attorney, says her client maintains that he’s innocent.

Protestors in support of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian American social activist and alleged terrorist, lined up outside of the federal courthouse on Lafayette street in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge accepted a plea deal from an alleged Palestinian American terrorist and activist today in Detroit.

Rasmea Odeh was initially charged with providing false information to the government when she emigrated to the U.S. over 20 years ago.

The charge was later changed to terrorism for two bombings she was allegedly involved in over 50 years ago.

Because of the plea deal, Odeh will lose her U.S. citizenship.

Detroit federal courthouse
User: cseeman / Flickr

Two more defendants appeared in court as a part of a federal prosecution alleging female genital cutting.

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida Attar are being charged with conspiracy to perform female genital mutilation on young girls and aiding and abetting in this activity.

Female genital mutilation is illegal in the U.S. for minors unless there is a medical need.

Dr. Attar owns the clinic in metro Detroit where Doctor Jumana Nagarwala is accused of performing these procedures on two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota.

GM Building in Detroit
ANDREA_44 / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

After nearly 70 years, General Motors is no longer operating in Venezuela.

Venezuelan authorities unexpectedly seized a GM plant yesterday earlier this week, a trend that has been common over the past few years as the country is in political unrest.

The GM plant stopped making cars in 2015 due to poor economic conditions in the country, but had been making auto parts instead.

Empty classroom.
Kevin Wong / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Public education advocates and some Democrats are teaming up to convince President Trump to change his budget priorities.

The "Build Schools, Not Walls" campaign wants Trump to divert money and attention away from his plan to build a wall at the country's southern border and invest more in public education instead.

Surgery tools
Stanford EdTech / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A federal judge today ordered a Detroit-area doctor to remain in jail while she's prosecuted for performing illegal surgeries on young girls.

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala is being charged with performing female genital mutilation procedures on two seven-year-old girls from Minnesota. Female genital mutilation on minors is illegal in the U.S. unless there is a medical reason. 

Brett Levin / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Livingston County schools could soon adopt a program that gives their students some community college experience.

Early Middle College School is a five-year program that allows students to earn a high school diploma and either a technical certification or up to 60 transferable credits.

Mike Hubert is the Superintendent of the Livingston Educational Service Agency, which spurred the early college proposal, says the state foundation allowance covers the cost of the program.

Hospital bed
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Mayor Mike Duggan and CEOs from three Detroit health systems announced a new job training program for city residents.

 

The Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and St. John Providence are partnering with the city and Oakland University’s nursing school to train and employ 240 Detroiters in healthcare over the next year.

 

Judge's gavel
(loveamourlove.com)

The Michigan appeals court has ordered a new sentence for a Kalamazoo teenager convicted of murder and suggested that he shouldn't be locked up for the rest of his life.

The court upheld the conviction of 16-year-old Victor Garay, saying the evidence in a 2014 gang-related shooting was "overwhelming." But the court said Tuesday that Judge Alexander Lipsey didn't handle the sentencing correctly.

Screenshot of Detroit website allowing residents to see locations of medical marijuana caregiver centers.
Detroitmi.gov

Medical marijuana users have a new way to learn about caregiver centers in Detroit.

An interactive map will help them track the status of the more than 280 centers across the city.

120 shops are in the application process. Over 60 of them are able to operate in the meantime.

Marvin Jamo, owner of a medical marijuana caregiver center in Detroit, says plenty of people use medical marijuana.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaking where he plans to build Ella Fitzgerald Park on the city's northwest side
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says neighborhoods won't be left out of the city's comeback.

Duggan announced his two year plan to invest $4 million into the Fitzgerald neighborhood on the city's northwest side, near Livernois and McNichols.

The project aims to rehab 115 vacant homes and 192 vacant lots, create a two-acre park, and build a bike path between Marygrove College and the University of Detroit Mercy.

Maurice Cox, the planning director for the project, says the goal is to create something seldom seen in the city.

A Detroit resident uses the Improve Detroit mobile app.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Have you ever noticed something like a fallen tree or a downed power line in the city and not known which city department to call to come take care of it?

 

Well luckily, there’s an app for that if you live in Detroit. 

 

The Improve Detroit app has been used to help residents report issues like potholes, fallen trees and broken street lights.

 

Today the city focused on addressing some of the illegal dumping sites throughout neighborhoods on Detroit’s west side. 

 

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